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More than 160 people across 10 states have been sickened by McDonald’s salads contaminated with Cyclospora, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports in its latest update on the foodborne illness outbreak.

Health officials in Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin report cases of people infected by the Cyclospora parasite. Those officials said they believe the illnesses came about from having eaten lettuce in McDonald’s salads.

The CDC puts the total number of people sickened at 163. At least three people have been hospitalized; no deaths have been reported.

McDonald’s salads: sales have stopped

McDonald’s has voluntarily stopped selling salads in more than 3,000 locations in 14 states until the company can switch to another lettuce supplier. The locations are primarily in the Midwest: Excluding Florida, the list includes the impacted states mentioned above along with Indiana, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia.

Cyclosporiasis is a non-fatal infection. Its most common symptom is watery diarrhea, according to the CDC. People become sick from the parasite an average of seven days after eating contaminated food.

The CDC believes illnesses in this outbreak started on or after May 1.

McDonald’s salads: 2nd outbreak in July

Cyclospora also caused more than 200 people to become sick in the Midwest earlier this month after they consumed contaminated Del Monte vegetable trays. Consumers in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin were linked to the outbreak; another two people in Michigan reported they had purchased the vegetable trays in Wisconsin, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Del Monte recalled 6- and 12-ounce vegetable trays made with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots and sold with dill dip. The trays were sold in the four states where the illnesses were reported, as well as Indiana. A 28-ounce tray with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery and dip was recalled in Indiana and Illinois, the FDA said.

“FDA has not identified which of the ingredients is the vehicle for this outbreak; each component of these vegetable trays is under consideration,” the FDA said. “FDA is currently reviewing distribution and supplier information related to the vegetable trays; the investigation is ongoing.”

McDonald's salads sicken more than 160 in 10 states with cyclosporiasis

More than 160 people across 10 states have been sickened by McDonald’s salads contaminated with the Cyclospora parasite, the CDC said.

McDonald’s salads: cyclosporiasis info

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. People can become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite.

Other symptoms of cyclosporiasis include:

  • appetite loss
  • weight loss
  • abdominal cramps
  • bloating
  • gassiness
  • nausea
  • fatigue.

People suffering from cyclosporiasis can also experience vomiting and a low-grade fever, although those symptoms are less common. The illness is treated with antibiotics.

People living or traveling in tropical or subtropical regions of the world may be at increased risk for infection because cyclosporiasis is found in some countries in these zones. In the United States, outbreaks of foodborne illness involving cyclosporiasis have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce.

It is possible to become infected with Cyclospora more than once.

When to see a doctor
Many foodborne pathogens can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal distress. If you develop persistent diarrhea that lasts several days or recurs, contact your doctor so they can identify the cause and recommend treatment.

If you have eaten food that has been recalled because of a Cyclospora outbreak, or if you have traveled in an area where parasites are common, be sure to tell your doctor.

If you become deyhdrated because of a prolonged case of diarrhea, see your doctor immediately. Warning signs of dehydration include:

  • dry mouth and tongue
  • sunken eyes
  • reduced production of tears
  • decreased urine output.

McDonald’s salads: irrigation water suspected

This isn’t the first time this summer Americans have gotten ill from greens. E. coli-tainted romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region sickened more than 200 people in 36 states. Ninety-six victims were hospitalized, including 27 who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a deadly type of kidney failure.

“Some water had to become contaminated and then used to irrigate the crops that become salad,” said Martin Bucknavage, a food safety expert at Pennsylvania State University. “These spores get into the water and survive for long periods of time. It could some from someplace upstream.”